You are the product

Is Google’s Free Software A Good Deal For Educators?
by Anya Kamenetz
August 26, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/08/26/341943780/is-googles-free-software-a-good-deal-for-educators

Another big concern is commercialization and student privacy. As Yeskel has mentioned in other interviews, Google’s business motive here is to expose young users to the Google brand. To hook them early.

Khaliah Barnes, director of the Student Privacy Project of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), warns, “When you’re using free services, if you don’t know what the product is, you are the product.”

In March, as part of a federal lawsuit, Google admitted it had been data-mining student email messages to potentially improve its targeted advertising, among other reasons. As of late April, says Yeskel, “We no longer show any ads to students or use any information in any other Google products. We take ownership of any user data extremely seriously.”

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